Pre-show numbers are looking good … but instead of breathing easy, you’re lying awake at night … worrying about how many of those registrants will actually show up onsite.
Unfortunately, you’re not the only one experiencing registration-related insomnia. Nowadays, many events are experiencing verified rates of 50 percent (and sometimes worse). As such, mdg is being called upon more and more to apply its expertise and guidance at keeping registrants excited and engaged all the way up to the show. Here are a few of the tactics we are using…
- Ad Retargeting. Serving targeted ads to prospective attendees who are visiting your event website has proven effective in driving traffic back to the site to register, but have you considered targeting your current registrants? The idea behind retargeting is to keep your event top of mind and drive prospects to action with a targeted offer. When you pixel the registration confirmation page within your registration portal and serve your current registrants with ads that highlight key benefits of attending, hotel or travel deals and educational or special event up-sell offers, you’re reminding registrants of their commitment to attend, and potentially convincing them to make an additional financial investment (especially valuable if your event is free).
- Social Advertising. Social media is a great tool for staying connected to your current registrants. Facebook Custom Audiences allows you to upload your registrant list into the Facebook ad portal and serve this audience with targeted benefit and up-sell ads, much like the ad retargeting strategy above. And, with daily maximum budgeting and real-time reporting, you can easily generate a high impact with little investment.
- Verified Attendance Email Campaign. Let’s face it; many of your registrants will wait until the last minute to start planning for your event. Communicating with your registrants in the weeks leading up to the event gives you an opportunity to focus their attention on the reasons your event is a “can’t miss.” Consider …
- Including a list of who’s attending (titles and companies) and the networking events that will allow them to make connections—nobody wants to feel left out.
- Segmenting your messages by registration category, targeting up-sell messages to current registrants—the more invested, the more likely they are to attend.
- Taking the legwork out of pre-show planning. The easier it is to get to the event, the more likely they are to attend. Lay out steps for housing, travel, education and events onsite. And, if your show has matchmaking programs, be sure to push pre-show appointments. If an attendee already has scheduled commitments onsite, they are more likely to attend.
- Incentives. Incentives are a great way to build excitement as your show approaches, and they’re even better when you don’t have to finance them yourself. Leverage booth giveaways or prize drawings that exhibitors, sponsors and other stakeholders have planned during your event. New product announcements and show-only specials can also incentivize attendance at no expense to you.